When Jesus woke up, he rebuked the wind and the raging waves. Suddenly the storm stopped and all was calm (Luke 8:24b NLT).
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I grew up close to the ocean, and I remember going to the beach with my parents. They taught me the water was to be enjoyed but also respected. The ocean was wild—both beautiful and destructive, life-giving and deadly, a playmate and a potential enemy. The disciples, especially Peter and Andrew as fishermen, likely had a similar attitude toward the Sea of Galilee.
One day Jesus says to His disciples, “Let’s cross to the other side of the lake” (Luke 8:22). It’s not the first time they’ve made this short journey. The Sea of Galilee is small, only thirteen miles from north to south and seven miles from east to west. Jesus settles in for a nap, weary from ministering to so many people.
The Sea of Galilee is known for its violent storms. One minute can bring blue skies, the next fierce winds and rain. The lake is surrounded by hills with steep sides, and cold air rushing over the edges collides with warmer air around the water, causing waves up to ten feet high.
We’re going to die, the disciples think as panic floods their minds and water begins to fill the boat. Where is Jesus? Why isn’t He doing anything? They find Him still sleeping and wake Him with a fear-filled question: “Teacher, don’t you care that we’re going to drown?” (Mark 4:38).
What Jesus speaks to the wind and waves seems fitting for the hearts of the disciples too: “Silence! Be still!” (v. 39). The storm suddenly stops, and there is great calm. With terror and amazement, the disciples ask each other, “Who is this man?” (Luke 8:25).
This miracle happens fairly early in Jesus’s ministry, and this question reveals that His disciples are still trying to figure Him out. They’ve been called by Him, listened to His teachings, even seen Him perform miracles. But they’ve not yet answered with absolute certainty this crucial question we all wrestle with at some point: “Is He really, truly God in every moment of my life?”
It’s the question we ask ourselves when the storms of life come. Anxiety will tell us the answer is no. The boat is sinking, and we’re in charge of saving ourselves. There is no hope; the rain will never end. No one cares about us. This is the end.
But the Spirit within us whispers yes! God is not distant; He’s in the boat with us. No matter how the storm rages, He will not let us drown in our difficulties. He is present and powerful, and He cares about every detail of our lives.
The disciples experienced the complete calming of a physical storm. This side of heaven, the emotional storms we’re in may not fully go away. The depression may come back. The panic attack might not stop instantly. The stress in our job could continue. Sometimes the storms calm, and sometimes we find calm in the storm because we know with certainty these two things: God is God in every moment of our lives, and with Him, we can make it through anything.
Dear God, when storms come, I pray for Your supernatural calm, either by causing the storm to cease or by giving me hope, strength, and inner stillness in the middle of it. You are God in every moment of my life.
In Jesus’ Name, Amen.
Now It’s Your Turn
What’s a storm you’ve faced? How did you experience God’s presence and peace in it? What is one storm that you’ve had in your life where you sense Jesus “in the boat with you?”
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